“Media is independent”. I have heard this sentence over and over again in Live broadcasts and wherever there is a debate about the role of Media in Pakistan. This simply seems to me a Verbal Trick, because in reality things are quite different. The actual role of print and electronic media, in any civilized country, is to inform viewers about the facts and make their opinion about the matter of national interest. Its role is to highlight the negligence of the government and to hold politicians accountable. By keeping the objectivity at the heart of it.
But here in our country, such so called media independence is economical-benefits driven. And in pursuance of grabbing the most viewership, that will result in more advertisement revenue, can go to any limit by thrashing all the media ethics. They have been showing LIVE telecasts of sensitive operations where such a LIVE transmission is like helping the enemy into getting information about the movement of our law enforcement agencies. All the media houses who are in competition with one another want to outwit its rival by showing more sensitive information than the other.
Our media houses, in quest of grabbing the viewership can run the media trial of anybody without having authentic proofs. They have become the machines of making people who are zero as hero and hero as zero. Their such role is under harsh criticism in Pakistan nowadays. Media is using its so-called independence in order to set the scores with anybody who tries to control its proliferating negative impact on the image of the country in the outer world.
One recent example is of attack on Karachi Airport. Wherein all the channels were trying to get closer to the affected area as possible. They were airing all the situation Live without caring the emotions of people. Independence comes with responsibility. And if the right of independence is enjoyed without taking the responsibility then it can only prove fatal.
Media houses have become so avaricious that they have adopted each and every tactic to get the rival out of the business. For Media Houses the only way of survival is to get the competitor out of the business and for this sake they can blame them for being traitors, anti-state, anything which can cause the rival group to get out of the business is perfectly legal and actionable task for them.
The irony is this that this media war on the name of ‘Media is independent’ is going rampant in Pakistan. Today all groups are trying to get one channel banned. And it is possible that their turn will also come. If one channel has done a blunder then it is not ethically too to add fuel to fire. Ethical societies and organizations always take care of their ethical responsibilities. They don’t live like vultures do.
In order to be real independent all the media houses have to work by keeping professional journalism at the top priority. They have to understand that if they are in this business of informing people than they have to become the role model for the nation.